Second-Generation Tensor Chip’s Mass Production to Start in June, Will Use Samsung as Supplier Instead of TSMC
Google’s preview of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro at the annual I/O 2022 keynote did not reveal a whole lot of details but did mention that the second-generation Tensor SoC will power both upcoming flagships. The advertising giant usually kept the important details to itself, but a new report states that Google will once more be tapping Samsung to mass produce the next-generation custom silicon.
Google to Take Advantage of Samsung’s 4nm Technology, the Same Process Which Forced Qualcomm to Jump Ship to TSMC
With Google going back to Samsung for the second-generation Tensor SoC, DDaily reports that the upcoming silicon will be mass produced on the Korean giant’s 4nm process. The first-generation Tensor was made using Samsung’s 5nm architecture, so this will be considered an upgrade of sorts. Mass production is expected to start in June, according to the Korean publication, but there is no mention of when the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will officially launch.
However, with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro launching in October 2021, our guess is Google will look to release the upcoming flagships at the same time as their direct predecessors. As for why Samsung could potentially be the sole provider of second-generation Tensor chipsets, there could be a ton of factors involved. Previously, Qualcomm chose Samsung because an older report mentioned that the deal was too good to pass up, whereas TSMC might have charged a premium.
Samsung may have given the same attractive deal to Google, too, with the condition that the latter does not give any orders to TSMC, but the report does not confirm this. TSMC might also have its hands full, completing orders of massive quantities for clients like Apple, and because of this, it may not have been able to entertain Google.
Given that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 suffered from overheating, and performance issues when mass produced on Samsung’s 4nm process, we cannot display confidence over the second-generation Tensor becoming a worthy competitor to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 in pure performance figures.
Just like the Pixel 6a’s Tensor, the new custom silicon could lag behind the competition, but Google may add optimizations in other areas, such as machine learning, imaging, speech recognition, and more. There is still a ton that we do not know about Google’s second-generation Tensor, but as we approach closer to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro launch, we will stumble across more details.
News Source: D Daily